Help finding or constructing a new convertible top switch for my 68 Dart

Convertible A-Body Mopar

  1. Rick's 68 Dart GT

    Rick's 68 Dart GT New Member

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    In November it seems like a great idea to deal with a number or small, niggling electrical problems by ripping all the wires and heater box out of my Dart. Now it's July and I really want to put it all back together so I can play.

    The switch for the electric top is kind of doctored, and I would like to replace it. Can I anyone tell me where I can find a working three way toggle switch (up, down, and stop) that is either original, or made to be a replacement to the original, or created to work well without shorting.

    This is not a show car - just a fun project car. Thanks for helping someone new to the forum.
     
  2. toolmanmike

    toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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    Any parts store can help you with a switch.
     
  3. Jim 68cuda

    Jim 68cuda Well-Known Member

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    Jim at JS Restorations in Pennsylvania restored the convertible top switch for my 68 convertible last year.

    JS Restorations
    412.295.1333
    www.jsrestorations.com
     
  4. jbc426

    jbc426 Well-Known Member

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    You need a 3 position momentary switch. In other words, the switch automatically springs back to the center position, and must be held to activate the 12v circuit to the left and right of the center position. Once released, it springs back to the center.

    I always prefer to use Marine Grade switches, fuses and components, which can be easily be sourced online at places like West Marine.

    Get a hold of Crackledback on here. He's a member here and he makes a very nice and fairly priced relay equipped power harness for the convertible top circuit.
    That will keep the amp load down on your switch.
     
  5. Jim Lusk

    Jim Lusk Well-Known Member

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    We put a Barracuda dash in my son's Dart convertible. On the Barracudas the switch is kind of a tacky add-on to the underside of the dash, not a clean install like the Darts. We took the entire harness (with relays) and switch from a Le Baron. I installed the switch in the console ashtray. I will be doing the same in my Barracuda convertible.
     
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    • Rick's 68 Dart GT

      Rick's 68 Dart GT New Member

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      Thanks to all four of you for your responses. i like the advice from jbc426 to use marine grade switches and will probably make my own. Love knowing about JSRestorations!

      (also really like the idea of putting the switch in the console - If I had bucket seats...)
       
    • RedFish

      RedFish Well-Known Member

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      Top switch from any vert operates the same but... the newer examples use relays to conduct the higher current so their manually operated switches don't need to be substantial in construction and don't need the large wires routed to them.
      If you do go with a generic switch without relays, marine grade, whatever, make sure its rated at the amperage required for this application. Many modern marine examples are pizzy little manually operated switches for controlling relays also. When brothers boat motor was going up and down on its own, the switch was fine, a relay had failed.
       
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      • SuperBird4404BBL

        SuperBird4404BBL New Member

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        JS Restorations did a great job restoring the convertible top switch on my 1967 Formula "S".
         
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        • Kendog 170

          Kendog 170 Let the boy go !

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          Maybe a marine power trim switch which can handle the amperage as Redfish suggested.
           
        • RedFish

          RedFish Well-Known Member

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          I didn't suggest that switch for this application without relays.
           
        • toolmanmike

          toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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          Or you could use 2 separate momentary switches (with relays of course). Turn one upside down and use common power.
           
        • Kendog 170

          Kendog 170 Let the boy go !

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          Sorry but you did say (marine grade, whatever, make sure its rated at the amperage required for this application.) That what I was referring. Some power trim switches have high amp. ratings. Sorry,Not trying to put words in your mouth.
           
        • Dana67Dart

          Dana67Dart Like a fine wine, only getting better with age! FABO Gold Member

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          found this company out of CA. they have a universal top switch that you might be able to use as is or modify the switch with a paddle from another switch so it looks OEM

          Convertible Top Switches
           
        • cudamark

          cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          In some models, you can get a station wagon tailgate switch to work.
           
        • RhinoMan68

          RhinoMan68 if its for a 1968 convertible I probably need it. FABO Gold Member

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          So my switch was completely missing as was much of the car...I did a little research and bought this on eBay

          s-l1600.jpg

          Description...from eBay seller
          Universal Power Convertible Top Switch.

          3 position switch, on/off/on toggle. Momentary, 50 amp rated.

          *This switch will work for any 3 wire convertible top switch, 1955 and newer. Some, mostly ford switches will have more than 3 wires. This switch will NOT work for those applications.
          * It is a momentary switch which means that the knob is spring loaded and will automatically return to the center/off position on its own when you take your finger off of it. This is very important to avoid accidental damage to your convertible top hydraulic system!
          * It is rated for 50 amps, which again is very important. Your convertible top motor/pump assembly draws up to 35 or more amps on initial start up while developing enough pressure to get the top cylinders moving. Any switch rated for less than 50 amps will burn out quickly, and possibly do damage to your convertible top motor.
          *Designed to be mounted through a 15/32" inch hole, (half inch). Its recommended you mount it in a hole in the lower part of the dash, and leave your unused original one in place in the dash for cosmetic reasons. But every application is different and up to the installer.


          plus I added a 30 AMP Marine grade circuit breaker to the middle (HOT) of the 3 poles (the switch itself is rated at 50 but if something went wonky I was NOT going to want a dash BBQ). From the wiring diagrams this is what the factory did. Hope this helps.
           
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          • cudamark

            cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            The knob looks similar to some of the '67-8 C-body switches. Should work though, if it will mount where you want it.
             
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